Spanish Language/differences


I have a few questions.
1. what is the difference between pensar and creer? (pienso vs. creo)
2. what is the difference between te quiero and te amo?
3. what is the difference between tomar and beber? (tomo vs. bebo)

Hi Julie!  

Sorry about the delay; I see that you asked this question on November 22, but for some reason I didn't get the email until last night.

I'll start with questions 2 and 3, which are easier to answer!  The difference between "querer" and "amar" is one of degree.  Querer expresses affection, friendship or "liking", while "amar" generally expresses deeper sentiments (romantic love, love between mother and child, etc.).  

Regarding "tomar" and "beber", "tomar" more generally expresses the idea of ingesting something, but is broader... you can "tomar" food, drinks, medicine.  On the other hand, "beber" refers only to the action of ingesting liquid.

As for question 1, regarding "pensar" and "creer".... the differences are a bit more subtle.  "Creer" can express beliefs (I believe in God= creo en Dios), but is also used in certain common expression (I think so = creo que sí;  I don't believe/think so = no creo).  On the other hand "pensar (en)" is used more to talk about "to think about something"...  "I'm thinking about the meaning of life" = Pienso en el sentido de la vida.  I think a lot about death = Pienso mucho en la muerte.   

I'm thinking about you = Pienso en ti
I believe in you = Creo en ti.

I hope this helps!



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Brandee Strickland


I can answer questions about the Spanish language itself, as I studied Spanish academically and also spent a significant amount of time living in Chile (as a teacher of English). I can also help with issues of translation, and with interpreting slang or other cultural anecdotes. As an experienced teacher, of both EFL and Spanish, I can answer questions as well about teaching, classroom practice, and the use of technology.


I am a native speaker of English but have studied Spanish since a young age, as well as living in Chile for 5 years. I learned Spanish as a student myself, and have also taught introductory and intermediate level Spanish courses both privately and at the University level. At the graduate level, I have studied linguistics and sociolinguistics, as well as focusing on language teaching and the use of technology in the classroom.

University of Calgary, Canada; Universidad de Concepcion, Chile

Strickland, B., & O'Brien, M. G. (2013). A Review of the Literature on Technology in Second and Foreign Language Learning. Calgary: University of Calgary. Strickland, B. (Summer 2012). Communities of practice in the language classroom: Theory and reality. ETAS Journal. Strickland, B. (2009). De Gardner a Bajtin: La comunicacion mediada por ordenador y su impacto en la clase de lenguas. University of Calgary (Canada), ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. MR54572. Strickland, B. (2009). El mito de Narciso en la poesía española de los Siglos de Oro. Espéculos: Revista de estudios literarios, 40.

I have an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Psychology from Bowdoin College in the U.S. I completed an M.A. in Spanish and Second Language Acquisition and a PhD dissertation in the same field, both at the University of Calgary in Canada and currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Universidad de Concepción in Concepción, Chile.

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